Case Study – Sails got what they wanted and a whole lot more!

As a result of COVID, many hotels want to remove the in-room compendium. This was the main reason that Marcus Taylor, General Manager of Sails Port Macquarie by Rydges implemented SABA, a digital replacement for the compendium and a whole lot more. With no capital outlay, SABA can transform hotel operations for a modest monthly fee that was more than covered by incremental sales.

About Sails Port Macquarie
The Ultimate in Coastal Getaways

Sails Port Macquarie is a stunning 4.5-star waterfront hotel in Port Macquarie, which emerged from an extensive refurbishment in 2018 to reveal 92 stunning guest rooms and suites.

Providing sophisticated Port Macquarie accommodation, with its own restaurant and bar, spacious entrance and foyer with multiple event venues, Sails Port Macquarie by Rydges is the place to stop and stay on the Mid North Coast.

The stylish and contemporary design of the hotel, inspired by its breathtaking bayside location, offers guests the chance to retreat, relax and rejuvenate with all the coastal life essentials.  Relax in a private cabana by the heated pool and soak in the sunshine with a cocktail in hand or throw a line from the private jetty or one of the complimentary kayaks. Reconnect with nature in the lush, landscaped gardens with on-site chapel and explore the beauty the Port Macquarie oasis has to offer.

“We have removed all of the compendiums from the rooms and guests now have access to all of that information via their own device. I don’t see the need to ever put them back.”

This represents a substantial saving as the annual replacement of the compendium is expensive (approx. $100 per room for a quality compendium including printing and labour).”
“We have stopped the automatic daily servicing of guest rooms. The guest can now choose to have their room serviced by request via SABA or by hanging out traditional make my room sign.”

Marcus Taylor the General Manager of Sails Port Macquarie by Rydges

Must Haves
  • Get rid of Compendium
  • No Capital Outlay

Compendium was removed and Mr. Taylor cannot see it ever returning.

  • Saving of $10,000 p.a.
  • No capital outlay and Compendium accessible via the guest’s own phone.
  • All for a modest monthly fee
Nice to Haves
  • Cost Neutral – achieved large cost savings and incremental revenue
  • Digital Room Service Menu
  • Minibar on Demand
  • On Request Room Servicing
  • Quick transition
  • Minimal Staff Training
  • Staff to accept and adapt to changes
  • Guests to like and use the alternate solution

Both – guests and staff – love the solution and have really taken to it.

It’s still early days, but already nearly 20% of the guests are using SABA to place Food & Beverage orders and request their room be serviced. Many more are using it to access compendium information and information on local attractions and things to do.

SABA At-A-Glance

The SABA solution allows you to provide your guests with

  • Access to the full compendium
  • Order F&B
  • Place Requests
  • Access to a Chatbot
  • All of this is done using their own device, which they know and trust, and no download is required.
  • They access it all by scanning a QR Code and these days, most guests are very familiar with QR Codes!
  • Guests are comfortable using their own phone and are reluctant to touch shared surfaces such as in hotel provided in-room tablets.

What Sails got

  • Saved $10K p.a. as no more paper-based compendium
  • Substantial growth in Food & Beverage largely driven by SABA
  • The Food & Beverage revenue via SABA accounts for at least 10% of “All Revenue”.
  • Room Service Dinner revenue is up 68% on the same time last year
  • Breakfast In Room Dining has been introduced due to SABA, creating an additional revenue stream
  • Poolside Food & Beverage revenue has increased by 65% compared to the same time last year. On top of this less staff are required as SABA does the selling for us.


  • No concerns that the compendium is out of date
  • No “missed rooms”, where new Compendium are not in place – a pet hate of Mt Taylor’s
  • Ability to change in real time – in a post pandemic world, changing if & when the pool is open can be done in seconds
  • Menus can be time-controlled, so guests only see available menus based on time of day

Minibar On Demand

  • Increased minibar offers, e.g. “Bucket of 4 beers on ice” resulting in increased revenue. Not limited by space in the fridge or concern about high ticket items.
  • Reduced minibar stock in room by 70%
  • Reduced minibar denials
  • Reduced labor in managing the minibar
  • Enhanced Guest Experience
  • Increased Room Service Menu, e.g. Full wine list resulting in higher Room Service order value
  • Real time Room Service menu, e.g. remove what’s not available
  • Offer new items
  • Reduced food wastage
  • Enhanced Guest Experience

The ability for us to change the menu at any point is fantastic. We can switch off an item if we run out
or promote anything. We can even offer more. As an example, on the in-room dining menu, the guest
has access to the full wine list. That would not have been practical with a traditional printed menu.

Promoting Local Area “Things to do” results in an enhanced guest experience and frees up staff

  • A way to Differentiate us from the competition
  • A visible “post COVID change” that guests can see, interact with and appreciate
  • A smart tech solution that works on the guest’s own phone – guests are comfortable touching their stuff, not so keen on shared menus, tablets, etc.
  • A simple way for guests to gain access to hotel services via a QR Code that can easily be placed in the right place and available when and where a guest wants it
  • No burden on the guest to download an app – guests resist downloading yet another app


What Sails is looking forward to

All of the obvious and …

Even more increases in Operational efficiency with the Chatbot to free up staff and instantly handle common guest questions and requests, such as:

  • What time is the pool open?
  • Can I have another towel?
  • How much is the breakfast?

Direct financial savings

  • No Compendium $10K p.a.
  • Reduced Minibar Inventory by $85 / Room

We have removed the alcohol component of the minibar from each room. This, plus more, is now available to the guest as “minibar on demand” from their own device. The removal of the minibar has had several benefits: We no longer have thousands of dollars of stock in the rooms. We can offer the guest more choice and promotions, such as a bucket of 4 beers. And lastly, minibar denials are vastly reduced.